Waynesburg University’s commitment to serving the needs of the veteran and active-duty military student population has been recognized by the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS).
The University was recently awarded PNGAS Guard-Friendly School Designation by the organization, which is an advocacy group dedicated to the needs of Pennsylvania’s National Guard members and veterans.
We join in celebrating Waynesburg University receiving the PNGAS Guard Friendly School designation. Waynesburg has a strong history supporting the men and women serving our nation."
"We join in celebrating Waynesburg University receiving the PNGAS Guard Friendly School designation. Waynesburg has a strong history supporting the men and women serving our nation," stated Kathleen Fabrizi, Executive Director, Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS). "More than ever we appreciate Waynesburg’s commitment to its students and faculty serving our nation."
Developed by the PNGAS Education Advisory Council, the PNGAS Guard-Friendly School standards were designed to recognize colleges, universities and trade schools which meet or exceed ten baseline criteria that create a supportive learning environment to assist members of the Pennsylvania Guard and their families in pursuing post-secondary degrees.
“This is a wonderful step in continuing to serve our students currently serving in national guard and reserve components,” Dr. Michelle Steimer, assistant professor of counseling at Waynesburg University and major in the U.S. Army Reserve. “Balancing military requirements, family, and educational requirements can be a daunting task, but WU is focused on supporting the success of our military and veteran students. These students have leadership and management skills that, when coupled with a degree from Waynesburg University, will allow them to continue to positively impact our community both in and out of uniform.”
For many years, the Education Assistance Program (EAP) has been the No. 1 recruiting tool for the Pennsylvania National Guard, distributing more than $281 million to Guard members for school tuition. The EAP provides a tuition benefit equivalent to the yearly tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education so that members of the Pennsylvania National Guard can attend one of 488 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved schools.
Of the more than 480 schools eligible to receive EAP funds, only 48 schools have earned the right to be designated a PNGAS Guard-Friendly School.
With the July 2019 enactment of the Military Family Education Program (MFEP), there is also a non-lapsing fund providing EAP-like tuition benefits to spouses and children of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard when a Guardsman re-enlists for another 6-year term. This year, EAP and MFEP tuition benefits will exceed $64,000 per Guard member, and state budget funds for these programs will exceed $20 million in tuition benefits.
“Waynesburg University is proud to support our students who serve our great country,” said Dr. David Mariner, dean of graduate and professional studies at Waynesburg University. “We offer tradition programs as well as 100 percent online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, designed meet the needs of our service men and women.”
PNGAS is a non-profit organization, not associated with or legally connected to the Pennsylvania National Guard, the state or federal government, the US Military, or the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Waynesburg University also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a special assistance program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with no limitations on the number of enrollments, grants or credits taken.
Additionally, the University offers a variety of benefits for veterans and their families, including the acceptance of joint service transcripts, the Military Family Education Program, priority registration for veteran and military students, and a 10% tuition discount on Graduate and Professional Studies courses for active-duty persons.
In 2020, Waynesburg University hosted its first fellow as part of the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The University’s offices of Admissions and Financial Aid also recently completed awareness training with SSG Jolene Trout, a human resources sergeant for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, to discuss easing the transition for military members and their families to the University.